Theme of the day = Goldfish!

Hide your disappointment if you were looking for small orange snacks.ūüėě ‚óĀ That’s your disappointed face. ¬†Admit it.

Don’t know what’s up with me and purse sewing these days. ¬†I’m still at it, and it shocks the shit out of me. ¬†I’ve been making tons of those Necessary Clutch Wallets by Emmaline Bags. ¬†My stock “excuse” is that I have been trying out different combinations of interfacing. ¬†I think I’ve just about achieved my perfect combo. ¬†My fickle crafter’s mind keeps seeking out new opportunities to try out my new stiff interfacing knowledge. ¬†By the way, in that last sentence, “stiff” and “interfacing” go together. ¬†Not “interfacing” and “knowledge.”

I bought a new pdf purse pattern, the Integral Bow Clutch by Constructivism.  Dang, what a cute little bag.  Did you guess that it has a bow on it?

Who knew you could find goldfish in a palm tree?
Who knew you could find goldfish in a palm tree?

This little gem is not a project for the timid. ¬†The construction techniques are unconventional. ¬†And the result? ¬†Also unconventional, mainly because nobody will ever figure out how you made it. ¬†Next time I leave the house, I’m gonna take it for a whirl.

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My little vanity tags are Tiffany blue! And I’m off to my craft room to trim that little thread…

I added card slots in the interior. ¬†There’s no room for a wallet in this little bugger, and I don’t like my cards flopping all over. ¬†And flop they will, if you don’t corral them. ¬†I also added a detachable wrist strap so I can sling it around. ¬†It turned out so cute, I’m going to enter it in the Purse Palooza contest over on the Sew Sweetness Blog. ¬†Wish me luck!

These are the glamor shots I took, my little bag out and about in the garden, next to the pond, in the lemon tree…

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If you like my new creation, leave me a comment. ¬†I feel like I’m talking to myself in a wind tunnel. ¬†Wondering if I should actually tell people I’m writing a blog.

Stay crafty, my friends.

I love this bag, and I’m sure glad it’s done!

I sure wish I had kept that jeans purse I made in junior high. ¬†I think it would receive icon status, just for the “what the hell were you thinking?” reactions it would surely elicit. ¬†I know I wasn’t the only one who made one of those bags. ¬†Cut the legs off a pair of jeans. ¬†Sew across the bottom. ¬†Use one of the legs to cut a shoulder strap. ¬†Line it with horrific floral fabric. ¬†Take it to school and pretend that it makes you look cool.

Let’s just say that I like this bag way better than that any of my 1970’s creations. ¬†I got all inspired to make a cute bag by reading all the posts on blogs about Purse Palooza 2014. ¬†It’s all about sewing and it includes the word palooza. ¬†What more could a gal want?

My challenge was finding a bag that was more structured than slouchy.  Although my posture may be slouchy, I prefer my bags to stand on their own.  Upright and proud.  I found it on Sew Mama Sew, the Blossom Handbag by Amy Butler.  http://www.sewmamasew.com/2010/09/free-amy-butler-pattern-blossom-handbagshoulder-bag/

Yahoo, my Blossom Handbag is finished!
Yahoo, my Blossom Handbag is finished!

I found some really cute home dec fabric, and scoured my local (limited) resources for coordinates. ¬†I love the fabrics I used! ¬†I don’t think anyone here is looking for a pattern review, so the one thing I will say is that it is well written. ¬†My challenge came from a much different source: ¬†bulk. ¬†Bulky fabric, layers of interfacing, and then layers of that all folded up! ¬†My Viking is just a regular home sewing machine. ¬†If I were to take up serious bag-making, I would need a heavy-duty workhorse machine for the thick parts.

Out for a stroll through the garden.
Out for a stroll through the garden.

When those uncooperative bits came along, I just turned off my machine and walked away for a while.  Like a day or so.  Then I would get all excited again and force-feed the pieces through my machine.  More than once I had to remind myself that finished is better than perfect.  Mainly because I knew that with this machine, certain parts of this bag could never be perfect.

My trusty sewing machine balked at many of the thick parts of this bag.
My trusty sewing machine balked at many of the thick parts of this bag.

Now I’m going to show this puppy off! ¬†On Facebook, here on my unknown blog, out around town. ¬†Woo hoo, look what I made!

Stay crafty, my friends.

What good is my wallet if I can’t see it?

Well, I figured out what the problem is. ¬†I’ve been making these wallets for my friends and everybody just loves them.

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I decided to actually try one.  So surfing ninja got the honor.  The idea of these fabulous wallets is that you can put your cell phone in there and carry it in lieu of an actual purse.  I even made a detachable shoulder strap for this one.

I was feeling all carefree and proud of myself. ¬†Until I realized that I didn’t have my glasses with me. ¬†My disappointment was palpable.

Let’s throw a life tip in here, since I seem to be slacking in the life tips category. ¬†Necessity is the mother of invention. ¬†You can quote me on that. ¬†I need to see things, so my “in lieu of an actual purse” needs to hold my glasses. ¬†Being a mother, I knew it was time for invention.

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Apparently nobody told my sunglasses they would be in a photo shoot.  Probably should have cleaned them.

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I can put my spectacles in the little compartment and switch ’em out for my sunnies when I go inside. ¬†So now, in lieu of an actual purse, I can carry this vision of happiness! ¬†I’ll just sit over here and feel proud of myself for a while.

Props to Emmaline Bags, creator of the pattern called the Necessary Clutch Wallet.

Stay crafty my friends!

Hey There Little Red Riding Hood. Or Distractions.

Is there anyone, anyone who’s into crafty stuff, who is not easily distracted? ¬†I don’t think so. ¬†I think that crafty minds are, by definition, easily sidetracked by pretty shiny things. ¬†We wouldn’t have any inspiration if we kept our minds only on the task at hand. ¬†We would all work on only one project at a time, diligent until completion. ¬†Fabric stores would go out of business. ¬†Craft stores would shutter their doors. ¬†The world would be a grim place.

Thank the heavens it doesn’t work that way! ¬†I had to take a moment there, I got depressed just thinking about it. ¬†Let’s roll with this as today’s life tip. ¬†Distraction is good. ¬†Multi-tasking is good. ¬†Pretty shiny things lead to the birth of extreme crafting. ¬†That’s my theory, and I’m sticking to it.

I tend to gravitate towards large projects. ¬†Like, really big ones. ¬†After I taught myself to knit, I didn’t start whipping out multiple hats and scarves. ¬†Oh no, not me. ¬†I went right for the sweaters. ¬†When I started quilting last year, I didn’t do table runners and mug rugs. ¬†Nope. ¬†Quilts. ¬†Like this one. ¬†For my king-size bed.DSCN2528

And now this one, the Aviatrix Medallion by Elizabeth Hartman.DSCN3633

More on that one later. ¬†But you get the idea, right? ¬†Sometimes even I question my rationale, as I add more projects to my pile of works-in-progress. ¬†But I have had an epiphany. ¬†For me it’s an epiphany, anyway. ¬†I’ve crossed over to the dark side and started some small projects! ¬†Yeah, I’m a little late to this party. ¬†And I love it. ¬†So those of you who have figured this out, long ago I am guessing, welcome me into your lair.

My entire circle of influence is just about covered with wallets now. ¬†So look what I found, lurking around one of my favorite fabric websites, Fat Quarter Shop. ¬†It’s called the Rose Red Woodland Doll pattern by Lella Boutique. ¬†She turned out so cute I can barely stand it.

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In this picture she kinda looks like she’s got the mumps. ¬†But that does not detract from her adorableness. ¬†I love that her hair is made out of fabric. ¬†And she’s wearing vintage boots, by the way. ¬†She just amuses the hell out of me, so we did a photo shoot in the back yard.

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Here she is playing hide and seek in the ferns. ¬†That’s her playful look.

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Now she’s sitting on the rocks of the waterfall. ¬†Notice the thoughtful look on her face.

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Here she is crouching next to a ti plant. ¬†Or maybe she’s peeing. ¬†Let’s just skip this one. Now she’s just flat out embarrassed. ¬†No more pictures.

Anyway, the point is that I had fun doing this. ¬†No, I don’t have a little girl, nor a grandchild. ¬†Only a grown-up sized girl, and she doesn’t want a new dolly. ¬†I wanted a new dolly. ¬†Don’t judge me.

Stay crafty my friends.

Selfish Crafting

I just love to make stuff. ¬†There’s something hugely satisfying about making pretty things. ¬†Made with fabric. ¬†Made with paper. ¬†Made with scissors, zippers, batting, glue and grommets.

Most of the things I make I just can’t bear to give away. ¬†How pitiful is that? ¬†But I love them so much after I make them. ¬†I feel like all my crafties are my children. ¬†I know their story, from conception to completion. ¬†How could I give away my children? ¬†I mean, there have been a few times when I contemplated giving away my actual children, and no court in the land would convict me. ¬†But I digress.

I now find myself making things that I actually WANT to give to someone. ¬†What has come over me? ¬†It’s like I went to sleep one night and had three ghostly visitors or something. ¬†Maybe Clarence the angel came for a visit and did a George Bailey on me. ¬†But I doubt it. ¬†I wish I could believe that it was totally selfless.

Instead I think it’s a new evolution in my craftiness. ¬†I’ve begun to look around outside my usual interests, especially in the sewing world. ¬†There are some amazingly talented and creative people out there opening my eyes. ¬†I mean, the last time I considered sewing any kind of a purse was in junior high. Lop off the legs of an old pair of jeans, cut some straps out of the legs, add some lining, and voila! A (now heinous) groovy ’70s purse. ¬†The memory alone makes me shudder. ¬†Too bad I didn’t keep my patchwork maxi skirt.

Now these brilliant designers are writing patterns so we can make things that are covetable.  Like the Necessary Clutch Wallet from Emmaline Bags.

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Aside from the fact that I am madly in love with my pineapple fabric, this wallet is amazing!

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I mean, it’s got tons of card pockets, a zipper compartment, phone and lipstick will fit in it too! ¬†And heaven knows my momma taught me well, I never leave the house without my lipstick. ¬†Shout out to Janelle MacKay, she IS Emmaline Bags.

Where was I before I felt compelled to show off?  Oh yeah, selfish crafting.  This was such a fun, one afternoon project.  I showed it to my visiting sisinlaw.  She loved it.  So I made her one.

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And I made a simpler wallet for my Girly.  (This one is called the Have It All Wallet, by Straight Stitch Society.)  She loved it.  So I made more.  For one niece, another sisinlaw, another niece.

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And you know what? ¬†I’m actually digging giving these away. ¬†One factor has got to be that they are fast and easy to make. ¬†Maybe I don’t have time to fall in love with them. ¬†I’ve decided they are not my children, not at all. ¬†They are like somebody else’s children. ¬†The ones that are cute and I want to play with them. ¬†And at the end of the day, I want them to go home to their own mommies. ¬†After I have basked in their adorableness, spoiled them with cookies and caffeinated and carbonated beverages. ¬†Now go home, you little bastards, and keep your own mommies up all night.

There’s something about these small, colorful projects that makes me want to spread them around. ¬†Could this be the type of project that brings me around, around from being a selfish crafter, to being a generous one?

Naw.

Stay crafty, my friends.